Other pressure factors in the marine environment than nutrients (39529)

Project Details


Anthropogenic pressures are potentially of major importance to the ecological state of the marine environment. In coastal areas, ecological state of the marine environment is assessed according to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) using the quality elements phytoplankton, angiosperms (eelgrass), macro algae and benthic fauna. Additional supportive parameters like Secchi depth and occurrence of anoxia or hypoxia can be included in the assessment. Extensive research efforts have shown that excessive loading of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous are the most important pressure factors in the coastal marine environment of Denmark. However, other pressure factors like e.g. fisheries, gravel and sand extraction, invasive species, run-off of micro plastics and hazardous substances and physical modifications like sluices and dams. For Danish coastal areas, there is no overarching perspective to other pressure factors than nutrients and assessment of their potential impact on environmental status.

In the present project, the aim is to assess the potential impact of a number of expected pressure factors other than excess loading of nutrients and effects of climate changes on environmental state of the Danish water bodies according to the WFD. The assessment will be based on existing knowledge and existing data.

The assessment will be performed as a review of documented effects of the different pressure factors on the quality elements and supportive parameters, assessment of data availability for analysis on water body level and documentation of dependence on the pressure factor of external environmental parameters like salinity and temperature.

Based on the review of each pressure factor, an analysis will be performed to assess the impact of the pressure factor on the indicators depth limit of eelgrass, DKI and concentration of chlorophyll a during the summer period. The analysis will only be performed if an effect of the pressure factor is well documented and sufficient data are available. Finally, the project will assess how press factors can be cumulated.

DTU Aqua (coordinator)
Institute of Bioscience, Aarhus University , Denmark

The project is funded by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

Research area: Coastal Ecology
Research area: Ecosystem based Marine Management
Effective start/end date01/03/201830/06/2019

Collaborative partners


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